Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beeswax and Toilet Rings. An old trick that doesn’t work anymore?

Beeswax has long been used as a finish.
 The classic formula:
1 part beeswax,
1 part turpentine and
1 part shellac. 
Heat it in a glue pot, stirred down, applied while still warm and buffed in by hand until your arm falls off.  You can buy this mixture premade under the name Sam Maloof’s Finish.  But if you have to be hard-core old school, it just takes a little practice.
The problem comes with finding real beeswax.  Now you may know a bee keeper, and get lucky.  Or it iss available online from a couple of sources, such as Rockler or WoodCraft. 
You may have heard of a strange solution, that’s been used for a long time.  Toilet Rings.  But if you think you’re going to use toilet rings today, think again.  Somewhere 10 – 15 years ago beeswax became too expensive to use for that particular job.  So now it’s some kind of synthetic wax and sometimes you can get synthetic with beeswax mixed together.  But I have no idea how to separate the two.  What I can tell you, is that synthetic wax never hardens.  It’s a sticky gooey mess that stays a sticky gooey mess.  On your furniture, it ends up looking like what it’s preventing from oozing out of your commode.  So leave the wax wings in the bathroom and don’t bother trying to put them on your furniture.  Take it from a guy who destroyed a project. 

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